Police with search dogs prepare to search the heavy bushland between Watergoes and The Pass in Byron Bay in the search for missing backpacker Theo Hayez.
Police with search dogs prepare to search the heavy bushland between Watergoes and The Pass in Byron Bay in the search for missing backpacker Theo Hayez. Marc Stapelberg

Police divers to join search for Theo

UPDATE, 3.30pm: STAFF at the nightclub where missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez was last seen acted responsibly when asking the 18-year-old to leave the premises, according to police.

Theo was asked to leave Cheeky Monkeys Bar on Jonson St, Byron Bay about 11pm on May 31 because staff believed his level of intoxication was inappropriate.

Tweed Byron Police District detective inspector Matt Kehoe said the staff at Cheeky Monkeys acted appropriately on the night.

"They observed that Theo was exhibiting signs of intoxication, "he said.

"He was very compliant when he left, the staff were very accommodating to him and explained, clearly on the footage, the reasons for why he was leaving. Theo was compliant and accepted their decision and left.

"The footage that shows him leaving doesn't really show him seriously or badly intoxicated from liquor.

"Often if it is that scenario, the staff will call police down to assist but on the evening that didn't happen.

"I don't think there's any criticism of how the staff at Cheeky Monkeys handled the situation on that evening."

Det Insp Kehoe said police would continue to search bushland around Cape Byron headland tomorrow.

"Our dog unit staff are still out in the field at the moment but there's still been no results unfortunately," he said.

"Tomorrow we'll have further resources out in the field, police from the police rescue unit at Lismore, the Brunswick Valley Volunteer Rescue unit will be here abseiling some of the cliff areas that haven't been accessed as yet, we'll have specialised divers from the dive unit and our dog handlers will continue tomorrow.

"We have to make sure that we cover every possible scenario and that's exactly what we're doing. We'll use drones as well.

"Our focus around the headland is consistent with some of the phone data we've received."

Police are still working with the messaging service WhatsApp, an text service Theo was assumed to be using the night he disappeared, to gain access to the teen's messages.

"Our communication with some of the service providers and Google is going well, our investigators are compiling all of that information at present," Det Insp Kehoe said.

"I don't have access to the messages. Our investigators have that information."

Theo's mother is expected to arrive in Australia next week, joining Theo's father and other family members as the search continues for the missing Belgian national.

More to come.


UPDATE 11.10am: UP TO 50 people are volunteering their time today to help search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez in Byron Bay.

The community led search is focusing on looking around North Belongil Beach and the Tyagarah Nature Reserve, near where Theo was staying at his hostel accommodation.

Meanwhile, police are expected to continue searching bushland near Cape Byron between The Pass and The Pass and Byron Bay Lighthouse this morning.

Special police operatives have flown in from Sydney to assist in the search and will use search and rescue dogs across the day.

More to come.


Original story: THE search for missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez will move to an area between The Pass and Byron Bay Lighthouse this morning and specialist police resources will be involved.

The police dog squad arrived from Sydney overnight to help in today's search, the ABC reported.

Search efforts will resume mid-morning.

Yesterday's search focused on an area between The Pass and Wategos Beach utilising a ground search with NSW Police Force, SES Volunteers and members of the community.

Nothing of interest to assist the inquiry was found.

Police are continuing to appeal for public assistance, to anyone who may have CCTV from surrounding areas from about 11pm on Friday 31 May 2019, or anyone with dashcam footage from Jonson or Tennyson streets to come forward.

Theo is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 180cm tall, with a thin build and blond hair. He was last seen wearing a black hooded jumper with a distinct white design on the front, long beige pants, a cap and black shoes.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.